The school as the community center serves as both a resource for life-long learning and as a vehicle for the delivery of a wide range of services. School resources such as buildings, technology, and a well-educated staff can provide a range of educational and retraining opportunities for the community. Thus, it serves as a linking agent for the social service needs of the community that will lead to its progress and development. As a principal, I should be aware that a promising direction for both rural and urban development can be achieved by building and sustaining strong linkages between community and school.
Younger as I am, I will be utilizing the youth, my students, together with some school assets, to reach out for the out-of school youth (OSY) by providing them learning opportunities, thus, contributing to the community development. I will manage to restructure elements of schooling to provide experiences for students that serve both educational needs and community revitalization goals. I will use the school and community assets as resources to help the OSY acquire knowledge and skills for work, and to become productive members of the community.
In addition, I would be conducting a school-based enterprise (SHE)that will place a major emphasis on developing entrepreneurial skills whereby my school assets (students and well-educated staff) not only identify potential service needs in their communities but also establish a business to address those needs. With all these plans, I think the school and community can work together for a mutual benefit. The value of the community-based learning experiences are the long-term benefits of leadership development, a renewed sense of civic responsibility and a revitalized sense of community.
The students in my school, as also members in the community, can benefit on these programs. This can provide substantive alternative for them to experience and develop many of the competencies required to be productive members of the community. Simultaneously, such opportunities can enrich and enliven school curriculum in ways that help students learn and use important life skills. Providing both rural and urban youth with opportunities to become active, responsible members of a community that works together helps them to see their communities as a positive choice among many places to live and work.